Milking shorthorns

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by caseyweiss, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. caseyweiss

    caseyweiss Well-Known Member

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    I am very partial to Milking Shorthorns; therefore I am very biased. I would agree with Emily in calling Milking Shorthorns "gentle giants". Since I show alot, I try to breed mine as large as possible. Not all shorthorns are large, you should be able to find one that will fit your operation close to home. If you have any problems trying to find one, contact the American Milking Shorthorn Society at www.milkingshorthorn.com

    Thanks,

    Casey
     
  2. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have milked several milking shorthorns over the years. They give a good amount of milk and produce a good calf. As with any breed the temperment can vary. We have one cow that is very gentle and doesn't kick, but moves around from side to side after she finishes her feed. A milking shorthorn is a large animal, so it is not as easy to push her back into place and hold her there as it would be with a jersey. We have never milked her daughter, but use her for a nurse cow. This cow is a big, tall cow, definetly the boss of the herd. Most milking shorthorns grow large sharp horns if not dehorned when young. I love the shorthorn breed, but if you are intimidated by a large animal, get a jersey or a dexter.
     

  3. desnri

    desnri Well-Known Member

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    I've been wanting to get some shorthorns, because they are a dual purpose breed. But I was concerned about the size. We have three paddocks of 1 acre each available right now. Next Spring we will be able to add another 3 or 4 acres. We also raise goats, miniature donkeys and 1 horse on these paddocks. They are all grass and hay fed. I'm glad to hear about the milk production. We are hoping to get licensed to sell raw milk off the farm. Thanks for the input.
     
  4. NRS Farm

    NRS Farm Well-Known Member

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    Do you have much of a problem with a Milking Shorthorn raising her calf with too much milk? They obviously could be used as nurse cows but what about just raising their own calf? Just curious.
     
  5. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Sounds to me like what you REALLY want is a Jersey! ;)
     
  6. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think, from the description of your place and needs, that a Jersey or a Jersey-cross might be a better all-round choice for your family. Our Jerseys get along very well with our goats. We eat our steers, and the meat is wonderful. Jersey is one of the best beefs for flavour that I have ever eaten. Jersey and Scottish Highland beef.
     
  7. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most purebred milking shorthorns give too much milk for a single calf. They will usually end up developing mastitis if you don't milk them out or put a couple more calves on them. We know this from sad experience. There are two separate categories of shorthorn cow today, the beef shorthorn and the milking shorthorn which is bred for milk production. With your limited space you might try a Dexter.
     
  8. desnri

    desnri Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all your advice. There are so many different milk breeds to choose from. Hubby is sold on the Shorthorn. I'm still contemplating which I would choose. I guess when the time comes, I will know.
     
  9. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you get a good, gentle shorthorn you can't go far wrong. Try her out before you buy her. If she has a good, soft udder and stands well, then she's probably going to be a gentle milker. Have any cow you buy tested for Johnne's Disease, Bangs, TB and Lepto. If the owner doesn't want to test for these things pass her by.
     
  10. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, the accepted method is you pay the bill for the tests if she is negative, the owner pays the bill if she is positive.
     
  11. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well I'm happy with my little Dexter, although I was also looking for a Jersey. My friend said his dad raised shorthorns for years and loved them. I think I'd get it and try it, if it doesn't work out, then just get something else.
     
  12. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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    I'd personally go with Jersey as a family cow - (not as a business though, holsteins suit this job perfectly).

    Although my family is a working dairy, we have 1 Jersey cow. This is the that we get our own milk and cream from.

    We've tried crossing it with our angus bull (we have a small beef production to the side), the first time coming out with a bull calf (turned to steer) that I did the raising of. He finished out great and tasted great. Purebred jersey beef is good, but mixed with angus is good. We tried it a second time, get a heifer. Although it wasn't bad, dairy-beef cross heifers aren't the best.

    I'd say go with Jersey, though I am unfamilair to Milking Shorthorns.
     
  13. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    OK I've been holdin out to see where this goes. First of we milk 80 cows mostly jersey but a scatterin of all the breeds. Jersey is my suggetion to you as they are small easliy manhandled if ever needed, ours are generally obnoxioous pets. Shorty's are tuff and generally hardy, rarely requireing a vet or any thing. This is because of a highly intuitiion of survival instinct aka beef cow syndrome. They are fine and gentle just leave them the heck alone. They will let you know when you can pet them and such. If you try somethiing against they're will they will fight back. Milk about the same, less fat and protein than jersey. Larger calves that are easier to fatten, haven't eaten enuf shorthorn to tell you if it is better than jersey. In all my years of workin with cattlle it is the shorty's that I saw deaths door with, so why the hell did we buy another??? Oh yeah now I remember. Venegence PS sorry casey